On Monday, when Taylor Swift unveiled her new single in front of a select group of Swifties (and an untold number of viewers watching it on webstream), she did so with the casual confidence of someone with a large enough and devoted enough fan base to ensure it a No. 1 spot. And according to Billboard, “Shake It Off” very well may debut at the top of the Hot 100 next week, finally knocking Magic!’s strangely resilient “Rude” out of the place it’s held since mid-July. She’ll face some heavy competition when she gets there, though—much of it from female artists. Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea have basically owned the chart for the entire summer. Between the two of them they currently have five out of the top 10 songs in the country, including their team-up “Problem.”
Tag: Pop (31-40 of 1133)
This is not a drill: B*Witched released an album in April 2014.
I’ll let that sink in. April 2014. It’s now August. That means that for the past three to four months, there have been six new B*Witched songs just floating around in existence that fill a bubblegum pop void few people were aware needed filling.
The details: Back in December 2013, the four-member Irish dance-pop group began offering their new EP—Champagne or Guinness—to fans on PledgeMusic, the music-only answer to Kickstarter. In addition to the EP, they sold studio visits, dance classes, and other fun Irish things. In April, the entire thing dropped, and it’s… glorious. Entirely. The first single, “Love & Money,” was released way back in 2013 as something of a tease to the new material. It’s certainly rocking more of a modern vibe than the group’s old stuff, as if all four members turned into little Kelly Clarksons in the interim:
The new single, “The Stars Are Ours,” appears to be the first proper single in anticipation of a wide album drop this September. If you’ve ever thought, “Wow, I wonder what B*Witched would sound like if they recorded a song with Avicii at a pub,” then proceed:
The title track “Champagne or Guinness” is more like the get-up-and-jig anthem you’ve been waiting 15 years for, with a little “Call Me Maybe” string section to it.
“Waiting All This Time” is a little less intense in its EDM breakdown, but still a sheer delight. It’s like waiting for the bass to drop at the loveliest garden party you’ve ever attended.
I have less to say about “Fighting For the Drop,” which is definitely the song you would skip but which is still perfectly acceptable because IT’S A NEW B*WITCHED ALBUM.
And of course, the ballad “We’ve Forgotten How,” which would make for a really great soundtrack during the part of any ’90s teen movie when there’s a really sad misunderstanding between Mandy Moore and her onscreen love interest.
Who is B*Witched, you ask? You’ll remember the group every time someone says the phrase “C’est La Vie,” the name of the band’s silly 1998 pop song that was aimed at kids but was apparently really about sex the whole time. They followed up with “Rollercoaster,” “To You I Belong,” and the most important cover of “Mickey” ever recorded for Bring It On. The group sold over 3 million albums at the height of their success in 2002, then split up soon afterwards. In 2006, two of the members—sisters Edele and Keavy Lynch—began a duo sister act, but in October 2012, the group reunited for a British reality show. And now they’ve officially returned.
Welcome back, girls. C’est la freaking vie.
Taylor Swift dropped some big news yesterday—her forthcoming album 1989, inspired by the sounds of “late ’80s pop,” will debut on October 27. The singer also released the album’s first single and music video. EW writers Kyle Anderson (who knows a lot about music) and Marc Snetiker (who really, really likes music) debate the merits of Swift’s latest song—and whether it’s a hit or a miss.
MARC: Do you know what it feels like when Kermit the Frog dances? When he waves his hands in the air and lets his head wobble freely, as if little more than fabric and stitching is holding it together? That, perhaps, is how to best describe the dance I haven’t been able to stop doing—alone, in my office, with or without the lights on—since Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” dropped.
KYLE: I should begin by saying I don’t have any fundamental problem with Taylor Swift. She’s made a lot of songs that I like, and she’s made a lot of songs I don’t particularly care for. I’ve enjoyed work that she has done both in a pure country form (“The Best Day” is a tremendous acoustic story-song) and when she’s gone totally pop (“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” remains my jam). But I find “Shake It Off” pretty repulsive for a number of reasons. I’ll start with the one that has always driven me nuts about Taylor Swift: Her inexplicable persecution complex. Sure, her personal life gets written about in tabloids, and she’s had to put up with her share of paparazzi, but she isn’t affected any more than any other famous person, and she’s spun the prurient interest in her paramours into radio gold time and time again. The whole “Haters gonna hate” refrain rings so unbelievably false to me. READ FULL STORY
In a half press conference, half fan event hosted on a Yahoo! livestream this afternoon, Taylor Swift shared a new single, its video, and the news that she has a new album out Oct. 27. The song, “Shake It Off,” is an enthusiastic, uptempo composition with flourishes of retro soul thanks to a skronking horn arrangement and a dance-friendly energy that the video, directed by Mark Romanek, reflects with performances by dancers in styles ranging from ballet to twerking. In a surprise turn, Swift handles the song’s rap interlude herself.
The album will be called 1989, both for the year of Swift’s birth and the period of pop history that it draws most heavily from. Swift said that according to people she talked to in the course of investigating late ’80s pop, the era was “apparently a time of limitless potential.” She described 1989 as both “my very first documented, official pop album” and “my favorite album we ever made.”
1989 is available for pre-order from Swift’s website, which seems to be down at the moment thanks to an overwhelming amount of traffic. A deluxe version of the LP will feature several songs in their earliest demo form as voice memos saved to Swift’s phone, as well as reproductions from Polaroids she’s shot.
In 2010, boy band powerhouses New Kids on the Block and the Backstreet Boys paired up for a joint NKOTBSB tour. Now a spinoff group has evolved, with Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and New Kid Jordan Knight pairing for their own album and national tour.
The duo, now known as Nick & Knight, released their first single, “One More Time,” in July with their debut album scheduled for a September 2nd release. From there, Nick & Knight will head out on a two-month U.S. tour beginning in Nashville on September 15. Tickets are available now.
We’ve got an exclusive first look at the guys’ debut music video for “One More Time.”
When Chilean singer-songwriter Yael Meyer began working on the song “Human Divine,” it was “much more mellow and acoustic track than it is on the record,” she writes. “I wrote it late and night and recorded a very rough demo of it and you could hear the keyboard making this really cool clicking sound that kind of made it sound like there was a beat underneath the song. So even though it was very mellow song, the implied beat made gave me the feeling that maybe this could be a dance song.”
The end result is bouncy, ebullient electropop that should appeal to the considerable number of people who are still waiting for Grimes to write another “Oblivion.” It also contains a timely, uplifting lyrical message: “You always hear in the news about the worst possible things happening in the world,” Meyer writes, “because that’s what sells, and that generates a fear-based society built on the idea that everything that happens is horrible. But I believe that there is a balance between good and evil. Yes, there is a lot of bad stuff happening, but there are also a lot of people doing good and it makes me believe that really good is leading the way after all.”
Meyer’s Warrior Heart drops Sept. 16 on KLI Records.
Vine is beginning to follow in YouTube’s footsteps as an unlikely social-media launchpad for musical talent. Last month, Shawn Mendes—who got his first real break when a six-second clip of him singing Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” went viral on the video-sharing platform—debuted his first single, “Life of the Party,” at number 24 on the Hot 100. Mendes had virtually no radio support or traditional marketing, but he does have 3 million followers on Vine, and the single sold 148,000 copies in its first week.
The latest Vine celebrities to land a song on the Hot 100 are Jack and Jack, a pair of recent high school graduates from Omaha, Nebraska who currently have 4.3 million followers on their shared Vine account. Their fan base skews young and female—a profile in their high school newspaper says it “consists almost entirely of 12- to 17-year-old girls,” and in the piece they claim to tailor the content they produce for that demographic. READ FULL STORY
Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora’s song “Black Widow” raises a lot of questions—like what does it mean that Rita Ora wants to love somebody until they hate her and also like a black widow? And what is up with Iggy’s tautologically fraught line, “If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be stuck singing this song?” And has someone, possibly a close friend or family member, talked to them about the fact that getting into “Fatal Attraction s–t” isn’t something they should be so proud of, and maybe they should consider a course of intensive therapy?
The video for the track only keeps the questions coming. Why is Iggy Azalea working in a greasy spoon with a poster in the kitchen that clearly has a drawing of her on it? What kind of high-intensity boob tape are she and Rita Ora using in those jumpsuits? And did anyone think that there were people out there who were begging to see Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora try their hand at comedic acting?
There’s a thriving electronic music scene, concentrated in London but extending around the world via the Internet, that’s defined not so much by a particular sound but by the way the artists involved combine sounds. They mix and match across genre lines in a hyperactively curatorial way that resembles a sonic equivalent of what Tumblr power users do with images and video. One excellent example of this micro-movement—which thankfully hasn’t yet been cursed with a corny name like “chillwave” or “PBR&B”—is “Sick Beat” by London trio Kero Kero Bonito. The song throws bits and pieces of dancehall, hip-hop, J-pop, and ’90s club music into the air like confetti and what comes down is similarly colorful, lightweight, and fun for fun’s sake.
The fashion-forward electronic label Double Denim will be reissuing Kero Kero Bonito’s Intro Bonito on Aug. 25. Until then, you can just keep “Sick Beat” playing on a loop, which is what’s been going on at the EW office all day.
Back in the spring, British artist Ella Henderson released her debut single “Ghost,” a catchy pop thumper co-written by OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, otherwise known as He Who Owns the Pop Hook. My great regret is that I didn’t write anything about it back then, since it quickly rose to the top of my summer playlist and became one of the mainstays in an otherwise meh season for pop. (No offense, “Bang Bang” and “I Will Never Let You Down.”)
On Tuesday, Henderson soft-released the video for her second single “Glow,” and it’s a solid follow-up track that shines some more light on her pop identity: There’s a little Ellie Goulding in the tone, some Leona Lewis in the upper range, and maybe just a little Cheryl Cole without all that boy band-busting choreography. Check it out below:
Latest Videos in Music
- 'Terminator: Genisys': What we saw on the set--and hints on new twists
- 'Game of Thrones' actors sign on for season 7, reportedly with huge raises
- 'American Horror Story: Freak Show' recap: 'Edward Mordrake, Part 2'
- 'Survivor' recap: The price of rice is right?
- Jim Carrey nails McConaughey voice again: 'All I gotta do is let go of the illusion that I exist'
- Spider-Man fans, take a good long look at Marvel's latest Summer '15 teaser
- 'Survivor': 3 Q's for Jeff Probst and an exclusive deleted scene
- Sarah Dessen's 'Saint Anything': First Look at cover art, with author's take on it